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World Cup 2010 - de Jong plays as Netherlands advance

Nigel de Jong celebrates with the Dutch squad following their 1-0 victory over Japan in Group E. (Picture from Getty images)
Nigel de Jong celebrates with the Dutch squad following their 1-0 victory over Japan in Group E. (Picture from Getty images)

Nigel de Jong played the full ninety minutes in the Netherlands 1-0 victory over Japan that saw them (with Denmark's 2-1 victory over Cameroon later in the day) become the first side to progress to the knock out stages.

In a rather tepid match, de Jong - lining up in a central trio alongside Mark van Bommel and the more advanced Wesley Sneider - wasn't particularly tested , but was efficient in possession and Sneider's strike midway through the second half was enough to seal the victory.

The likelihood is that even with a defeat against Cameroon in their final game, the Dutch will top Group E and face the runners up of Group F in the last sixteen.